Like the title says, will using Qubes through a VM compromise its security aspects in any way? Is it "mandatory" to install it properly (like in a dual-boot enviroment) or can I achieve the same results using a VM?

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    What happens if your main OS gets haxored? Now your attacker can watch you use Qubes. Nov 12, 2016 at 21:29
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    You'll most likely run into problems with the install as well. When I first came across Qubes I wanted to just give it a preview so tried installing it as a VM. I tried installing it in VirtualBox and ESXi and both installs kept getting stuck. Also, installing it in a dual-boot environment is not recommended by Qubes either as it also compromises the security of your Qubes setup if your other OS is compromised.
    – n8te
    Nov 12, 2016 at 21:34

2 Answers 2


Using Qubes through VM is all about compromising security. Qubes is unique for its Xen kernel which is perfect for sandboxing and written with less code (fewer security holes).

In Qubes, if you somehow get hacked, the attacker can gain access to your AppVM but not dom0, which means that your other AppVMs will most likely stay untouched. If you run Qubes inside insecure host OS, the attacker can gain full access to your host system following everything it runs.

After all, note the official installation text reads: We don’t recommend installing Qubes in a virtual machine! It will likely not work. Best option for you is installing Qubes-only and create as many HVM templates as you want, so you can run more operating systems at once.


"Note: Qubes OS is not meant to be installed inside a virtual machine as a guest hypervisor. In other words, nested virtualization is not supported. In order for a strict compartmentalization to be enforced, Qubes OS needs to be able to manage the hardware directly."

Qubes Installation Guide

It is strongly advisable to read the Qubes introduction page to get an understanding of how this programme works. Follow up with a brief read on the underlying Xen technology here.

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